The Future is Here – Thanks to Covid 19

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Mounting body-counts and grim realities. Confinement in homes. Mental trauma and disorder. Mobs indulging in panic buying – supplies, food, sanitizers and medicines. Deserted, eerily calm cities. Businesses & factories – shut.

Travel – banned. Airports, buses, trains – Shut. Police, military, para-medical staff, government machinery and doctors – deployed to help the citizens. A deadly fatal Virus on the prowl, with no cure in sight. NO – this is not the scene from a Hollywood doomsday movie – but today’s stark grim reality.

Welcome to 2020.

Somewhere, some script-writer is telling another: “I told you so”! We have all seen those doomsday movies where a single hero races against an impossibly tight deadline and saves mankind from extinction. Unfortunately, here, there is no such hero or heroine – there’s just an invisible villain and we are all hoping it does not set it’s evil eye on us.

For all it’s dominance, technology strengths, military might, education – the “most evolved” and “advanced” species on Mother Earth has been reduced to a shivering wreck in a matter of months – and one still does not know whether the Covid 19 pandemic was an experiment gone wrong, or a diabolical ploy.

As COVID 19 stalks the world, looking for it’s next victim, nations, states, leaders, organizations and mankind is scrambling to find ways to cope, contain and resist. Old rule-books and norms are being thrown out of the window and newer, faster, direct ways to combat this epidemic are being evolved.

There is no standard playbook yet – everyone is watching someone else and taking their cues from patterns and tactics that seem to have had an impact. Never before has mankind – collectively – been this helpless, powerless and united in a fight against an unseen enemy. And although there are mammoth, unceasing efforts to fight this killer virus, our efforts are only reactionary and precautionary in nature.

We are either preventing it’s spread, or containing it or isolating those infected. While it is true that many countries are trying to come out with a vaccine, there is no solution in sight yet.

The nature of this COVID 19 crisis is all all-pervading one. It is not a storm in a teacup – this is beyond global. It’s effects and impact will stay, affect, change, resonate and dictate – the very conceptions that Mankind has taken for granted.

It is a not-so-subtle warning to mend our ways and to stay simpler, less invasive upon nature and in our own small places. Mankind’s selfish fast-paced, consumption-driven, self-driven lifestyle has pushed the Earth & it’s climate to seemingly irreversible extremes.

Every element of nature from our oceans, forests, rivers, soil, groundwater, air etc…have been polluted and tested to the limits. Climate change is a harsh reality and needs to be considered as a grave threat that we have. Amidst this the Corona virus has hit us hard and there is no cure in sight yet.

It’s been a tough few months the world as we stumble from experiment to experiment to navigate a new normal amid the corona virus pandemic. From a personal standpoint, all of us are practicing social distancing by staying inside our homes, canceling plans, and avoiding crowded spaces.

On the Professional front, most of us are being productive while working from home with an indefinite timeline of when we will resume work from our respective offices. If you are working in eCommerce, you are definitely experiencing interruptions to your day-to-day operations due to supply chain issues, changes in demand, and retail closures, to name just a few of the many challenges businesses are currently facing.

The lockdown has emerges as a hard but absolutely necessary wise decision, requiring full compliance. It is the best way for now to avoid the deadly virus and also to stop the infection from spreading.

To arrest the spread of corona, everyone is confined to their homes and hence equations have radically changed – workplaces have shut down and so have educational institutions. Factories and production lines have come to a halt. Highways are quiet and airlines have stopped operating. Essential services operate with a skeleton or minimal staff.

As educational institutions rally their forces and start online courses, students are learning to come to terms with online education as a routine medium. For working professionals, Virtual meetings over Skype and zoom become the norm as the virtual world becomes the real one in a scary scenario.

And as the scenario unfolds – it is not over yet, not by a long shot – let us decide how we are going to respond. Will we go back to our hyper-active modes of life once this pandemic subsides? Will we continue to churn out mass-produced products and drive consumption patterns, producing communications campaigns to convince gullible consumers to buy, consume and waste more?

Will we again resume globe-trotting, resuming our “top slot” in the evolutionary ladder? Are we going to remain bound by narrow walls of faith and creed? Are we going to persist with the same, old economic models and professional lives? Because our collective records show that we are not open to change – we will persist in returning to our old lifestyles.

Nations, economies, businesses, environmental leaders and we, collectively, as humans – need to realize the truth and make corrections to our lives – Or risk many more such calamities.

The options are terrifying and it is not difficult but very frightening to think that mankind would not be able to cope. These and a 100 other pertinent questions need addressing. They need addressing and then, concrete actions to reinforce them. Our ways of life need to change collectively. We do not need another tragedy of global proportions to remind us.